Flower Island Mainau, color, flavor and splendor

Categories: Family and Kids, Sightseeing, Cultural and History

Flower Island Mainau
Flower Island Mainau

[ source: Flickr]

All those who like to be enchanted by a colorful flora should not miss the opportunity to visit the island Mainau (Mainau vacation rentals | Mainau travel guide), in the Lake Constance, Baden-Württemberg. The season starts traditionally at the end of March in the indoor palm house, which displays an outstanding collection of orchids. This is also the time when tulips, narcissi and hyacinths start to blossom at the so called spring-alley. As the year moves on roses, rhododendrons, palms and bananas, only to name a few, will show their outstanding beauty, adding to the sub-tropical flair of Mainau. September-October is the time for the yearly dahlia show and it never gets boring on this Island. If you travel with kids they will enjoy the fun and variety in the "Kinderland", a uniquely created park with a water world, petting zoo, pony riding, a railroad and a dwarf-village. Hospitality is high on the agenda on Mainau and everybody is invited to join in the fun.

Thinking about Lake Constance, the first thing that pops into ones mind is the Flower Island Mainau. It is a part of the district Litzelstetten-Mainau, Konstanz (Konstanz vacation rentals | Konstanz travel guide) in Baden-Württemberg and in ownership of the aristocratic family Bernadotte of Swedish origins. Flower Island Mainau is the third-largest Island in Lake Constance and is 1,100 meters long and at one point 610 meters wide. Because of the mild Lake Constance climate an exotic tropical and sub-tropical fauna prospered here with palm trees and other Mediterranean plants. Grand duke Friedrich I started the park with the Arboretum north-west of the Island, where he planted 500 different species of broad-leaved trees and conifers, with some of them being very exotic and valuable. Simply huge are some of the giant redwood trees (Sequoiadendron giganteum), whose seeds came from California in 1853 and were planted by Friedrich I on the Flower Island Mainau in 1864. Therefore they are some of the oldest of its kind in Europe.

The aristocratic family Bernadotte still plays an important role in all the floral display and islands activities. The family manor was built after the plans of Johann Caspar Bagnato (Giovanni Gaspare Bagnato). The construction, under the supervision of Bagnato, started in 1739 and was completed 7 years later. The Baroque manor has 3 wings and include a court, the Ehrenhof and a terrace garden. The manor is still the residence of the Bernadette family and you will see the flag on top of the roof when the family is present. The private rooms are in the north wing, left from the court and are not accessible to the public.

Late March to the end of October is the time when Mainau stands up to its reputation to be the Flower Island. Until the middle of May tulips, narcissi and hyacinths will dominate the gardens and make it a colorful experience for all visitors. During the same time viola, forget-me-not and primrose add to the color. The spring-alley leads to the rose-garden, which was also created by Friedrich I. The Italian style garden is strictly geometric in its form, with pergola, sculptures and fountains. During summer around 500 varieties of roses bewitch ones senses in this garden. On the whole of the island you will discover around 30,000 pedicle of 1.200 different species. A Baroque stairway leads to the manor terrace which will give you a great view and your next point of interest might be the Mediterranean terraces, with palms, agave, cactuses and bougainvillea. From here, you have a panoramic view of Lake Constance and the Alps. The south of the island is home to the dahlias and September and October is the time to be there. Around 20,000 shrubs of 250 different species are home in the south garden and shine endlessly in their beautiful colors.

Flower Island Mainau is also home to a butterfly house, with around 1,000 square meters the largest in Germany. It is open all year round and visitors will walk around in a truly tropical climate, accommodating the fauna and around 80 different species of butterflies. Depending on the season 700-1,000 butterflies can be admired by the visitors. Most of these species are originated in South America and some breed naturally on the premises. But still the butterfly house receives every week 400 pupae from breeder from Costa Rica, England and the Netherlands with a yearly budget of € 20,000.

TheKinderland is said to be one of the most beautiful kids playground in the Lake Constance region and it is time for your kids to confirm that statement. Between the ages of 1-4 the dwarf village is definitely the place for fun and discovery. Then there is the water world, petting zoo, pony riding, a railroad and the newest addition in 2009 is the theme park Blumis Uferwelt. It is aimed to the children's urge to move and offers plenty of safe space to climb, hide, look and listen. A children's friendly restaurant is located here and offers a special menu for kids.

The island has many restaurants and cafes and maybe you like to try a barbecued sausage. At a perfect spot, the restored historical manor wall, you can enjoy this nice snack. Sausages come in a wide variety and you can choose between red barbecued sausages, Mainau-sausages, spiral formed onion-sausages and chili-, beef - or poultry sausages. Another highlight of this dining experience are the 3 meters long and 1,6 meters wide tables. In the middle of each table you will always see plants in full bloom and even trees will grow through the tables. One more reason to come and enjoy Flower Island Mainau, again and again.



About this Article

Monika Petra

This travel guide has been written by Monika Petra.

In her own words: When children are born they receive certain gifts to put them to good use or not. In my cradle there must have been at least music and the curiosity for the world we live in. Luckily I could combine those gifts eventually. My live as a jazz vocalist guided me to see and experience many places in Germany and far beyond. As in my music I like to dive in the historical background of given facts, simply to understand the present. During my travel, my circles got wider and wider and since many years I am now living in Thailand, very interesting to say the least. I grew up in Paderborn, lived and studied Jazz in Cologne's Musikhochschule and worked a while in Bayreuth and Kulmbach. My travels throughout Germany took me to all major cities and small towns. It was the people and local differences, be it language, food, traditions and customs, which made it a lot of fun. When finally the wall came down, I was one of those in Berlin posing on the rests of it for the camera. Off course I took the first opportunity to rediscover the new but old states of Germany and finally understood the impact the wall had on all Germans and in regards to the worst part in German history. Being a German living abroad, I discovered in years what I value most about Germany. Rest assured it is a country of rich cultural background still alive today. I visit my home country regularly and stay in touch with my friends, even those back from school. Another thing I always felt passionate about is writing and sharing my experience and thoughts. The internet provides us all with a great opportunity to connect, tell stories, read and learn from others and grow as a global community.

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Location, Map, and Driving Directions

Location: 78465 Insel Mainau, Germany

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Admission

Adults € 14.90, students 13 years and older € 8, children until the age of 12 no charge and family tickets for adults and children 15 years and younger € 30.


Opening Hours

Park and gardens are open all year round from sunset to sundown.


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